Ever want to tap your inner artist in a fun, relaxed atmosphere?
Rita Rooney has brought Canvas and Cocktails, a two and a half hour painting class, to Heron Suites in Southold. Similar classes have been popping up around the country and Rooney said she saw it as the way to bring her art to life and show others what they are capable of creating.
“I’ve been dying to do stuff with my art for a long time,” Rooney said.
Described as painting with a “twist,” Rooney supplies music, canvas, paints, palettes, water, easels and a party atmosphere and the painter supply their beverages of choice. She described it almost like a show, for people who want to explore painting. The “wow” factor, she said, is big.
When people come in they are uptight and worried about what they think they can’t do but she said, by the time they leave, they are amazed by what they can do.
Because everyone’s skill levels are different, Rooney provides step-by-step instructions. She has painters start at the top of the canvas and tells them what brushes to use and gives them instruction on strokes.
“Everyone’s composition will look different but they will be similar,” she said.
Each month features a different composition, including landscapes and structures. The February event will feature a composition of a couple kissing in the rain under an umbrella. She said she finished the painting and now is in the process of breaking it down so she can help her students give the “illusion of intimacy” in their paintings.
Rooney did not attend art school but she credits her grandmother with teaching her techniques and tricks to help with her painting. She also watched many Bob Ross shows. More recently, she has helped her husband with painting sets for plays and painted the mural for the
For Rooney, Canvas and Cockatails is an emotional event and she feels this is what she’s meant to do. Watching her students react to their accomplishments makes Rooney happy. She said some of her regulars are now painting on their own.
“It’s a dream come true,” Rooney said. “When I first hear everyone’s brush hit the canvas, my heart starts to flutter.”
The February Canvas and Cocktails are $40 and will be held on Friday, Feb. 10 from 7 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 11 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at in Southold. She will also hold a special class at La Maison Blanche on Shelter Island, which includes dinner, on Saturday, Feb. 26. The cost for this class is $80. Please call 631-833-0810 for registration information.